and practical experience are integral parts of a social worker. On one hand, theory
is the guide for practical experience. On the other hand, via real experience, theory
is implemented, adapted or adjusted to match with a specific situation. For
instance, in theory, there are different engagement strategies to start a
counselling session with a client; however, in reality, a social worker could
selectively apply what strategy is the most suitable and effective for each
client and each circumstance. 1Theory
carries out four basic functions: description, explanation, prediction, and
control and management of events or changes. I will take the discrimination on
disabled people in my home country as an example of how four functions of
theories might be done:
Description: In my home country, it’s very
hard for physically disabled people to get a job. They could not integrate with
society; on the contrary, they are isolated by their family and the society.
Explanation: There are some reasons why physically
disabled people are not warmly welcome. First, they are perceived to be
worthless. Secondly, their working productivity is thought to be lower than other
co-workers. Thirdly, they might cause a financial burden for a company in terms
of providing suitable facilities and accommodation.
Prediction: As a social worker, the first
thing I will do is to send them to vocational training centers. This is to equip
them with necessary and suitable skills. In addition, I have to convince
companies and organizations to accept them. At the same time, I might work with
local community to conduct campaigns to eliminate public stigma on disabled people.
Control and management of events or
changes: I will work closely with organizations/ companies to follow up how
they work, what adjustments should be made.
sure that these theories will be a useful guide for my practical social work
Challenging Oppression & Confronting Privilege/ Mullaly – page 2